We learned previously about the quality and structure of compounds. Now in this section, we will learn how to make compounds. Compounds are basically formed using prefixes. There are two types of prefixes used, “a” / “an” and “sa”


– The prefix a is used in front of a consonant.
– The prefix an is used in front of a vowel. They show that something is not.

शोकः → अशोकः
śokaḥ → aśokaḥ
Sorrow → “un-sorrow,” sorrowless

An interesting fact is about this prefix is that it is found in Greek, Latin and Old English. It can be seen in words like, “a-political” “in-appropriate” “an-archy.”


The second prefix is sa which denotes what something is with. Contrary to the “a/an” prefix, sa does not change even in front of the vowel. The words formed by this prefix in most cases are adjectives

गजः → सगजः
gajaḥ → sagajaḥ
Elephant → with an elephant

अश्वः → साश्वः
aśvaḥ → sāśvaḥ
Horse → with a horse